show me how to be an angel,
I think I’ve been there
before        before I found
what my hands can do
when they’re not pressed together

bring donuts for the office.
offer silence in embrace,
holding space or advice
if they say help me get through
it with action.
paint houses, mend fences.
pull the nails from my true love’s feet:
I placed them everywhere and
I make contracts,
real amends means I wish you well
and won’t ever
contact you again.
smile openly at strangers,
hold the door and inner weeping.
stop repeating anecdotes that expose the
dark recesses  I’m engulfed in so I can
passing this on     so I can
save face, space for
longing, mystery, idleness.
it’s the surprise that I can’t take.

I invite them to dinner:
ask them to bring a favorite song,
one dish and
a defect they love.
I like strings and female wailing;
chords that are long, surfeit with
unrequited love.
I want it to sound like a heart that’s starving
for admission but will take it slowly
with a snare drum.
I apologize profusely for how bright my
apartment is these days.
I know you expected something darker,
I say,
but I prefer a blinding scripture to the days I
waded in shade and open constriction.
they understand the situation,
my indifference and malignance.
they offer me some gifts to assuage
me and I waste the night
with demands, scrutiny,
verbal inspection:

show me all the books you love.
recite your favorite lines.
I think the world is crawling with caged geniuses
that got lost along the way;
are you a lonely prodigy?
I need to see your insides;
palms up to show
you aren’t hiding anything.
are you the predator or prey?
do you believe in martyrs,
more importantly,
do you believe that the devil vets the saints?
I’m no killer, I promise, but I’m not the easy way.
do you believe in chance?
I once watched my fate unfold across my eyelids:
two parties coming together in black and white,
a future that was possible but someone whispered:
it is better to ruin this thing.
I believe in lessons.
I believe in dormancy.
there is no such thing as a mistake.

they show me teeth, piano, films:
I laugh, I’ve seen it:
I show them the drugs I bought,
my darkest cackle and matching garter.
show them a dozen ways to trample gardens
with a notepad.
do you see how I can write the future?
look, I planted bombs everywhere.
I show them demolition.
I show them scribes can craft the wicked.
I show them altars, smitten
eyes and a tongue that’s wound around
the Earth.
I show them what my insides look like:
wounds and trillion year old dirt and
I light three candles,
wear them like a rope.

have you ever let a thought just pass?
one interrupts as I dangle over his
let me down.
and I repeat to him what I meant to say
the first time we met to explain the danger
of restriction:
it is nothing,
time    a longing
and I wait.
I say

will you teach me how to wait?


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